More detail on this person: Thomas Hardcastle Bartlett flew West Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Bangor home that he shared with his wife, Linda R. Stearns, after the sudden onset of aggressive metastatic prostate cancer. He was born February 23, 1942, in Baltimore, MD., to Beatrice (Hathaway) and Edward Bartlett Hardcastle. He changed his name back to his father's pre-adoption surname in 1998. His youth was spent in Hagerstown, MD., until the family moved to Fryeburg, Maine, where Tom entered Fryeburg Academy, graduating in 1959 followed by a BS from the University of Maine at Orono and later, a Certificate of Superintendency. He served in Vietnam in the Army Air Corps, 1969 and 1970, attached to the 108th Artillery Group as a helicopter pilot. Capt.Thomas Hardcastle was discharged in 1974. In the last few years, Tom was very happy to have reconnected with many of his fellow helicopter comrades. Linda and Tom met while traveling back to Bangor on a Concord Coach Line in the spring of 1997. They married September 2, 2007, in a small ceremony at Agamont Park, Bar Harbor. Just prior to meeting, Tom had expanded his third picture framing business, River City Gallery in downtown Bangor. He established his first as a young man in Intervale, NH; his second was in Waterville, Maine. He taught himself the craft, becoming very skilled. He was artistic, had a good eye, loved trying new forms of presentation, and achieved precise construction making fine products for customers. He expanded his shop to include one of the largest offerings in Maine of decorative flags and gift items, reflecting his love of color and whimsical ornaments. On a frigid Jan.15, 2004, the business came to a dramatic halt when a fire broke out in the old brick structure that housed his shop. It was a total loss. Photos of the ice-encrusted building circulated throughout newspapers nationally and even in Japan. Rather than become despondent, Tom turned his energies towards upgrading, modernizing, and making the 1835 house in which they lived more comfortable.To start, out went the antique cast iron coal furnace in the basement and the old rotten wood floor boards. He just kept working his way up... With more time, Tom's love of gardening flourished. Vegetables and flowers - especially flowers - sprang up in in the backyard, side yard, and even in the scratchy esplanades. If a spot of land was free, Tom would pop in a new type of iris, peony, or cleone. His array of cheerful zinnias in late summer would delight passers-by. Raspberry bushes and an orchard of pears, sweet and sour cherries, pluots, and plums, that Tom so tenderly planted and cared for, have provided years of treats. The house projects continued and landscaping expanded and that little corner in Bangor morphed into a bigger presence. Tom developed a passion for honey bees and fostered and promoted the species with multiple hives. A member of the Penobscot Beekeepers Association, he put together a library on the care, diseases, habits, habitat, and history of honey bees. He also revived his interest in Gravely tractors. The walk-behind units and attachments took up residence in the dooryard for a decade. His knowledge of the evolution and development of the machine was extensive. He founded a group of like-minded folk and named it GEMS -Gravely Enthusiasts of Maine Society. Raised in the Episcopal tradition (low church, as he would intone), he often warmed to a spirited discussion of religious and spiritual ideas and joined a Bangor group to elaborate on those ideas. He valued liturgical music as well as classical. You could often hear MPBN Classical selections emanating from his Gravely repair acottage. Tom valued the large extended family into which he married. He is survived by his wife Linda, his step-children Shawn (Rob) Bryce, Kim Corey, Samantha Taber (Chris Leonards), and Tristan Taber (Katrina Schweikert); grandchildren Corey, Dylan (Kayla Huntzberry) and Erin Bryce, and Anouk and Kira Taber-Leonards. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Eleanor Hardcastle and a special niece Leslie (Larry) Baima; a friend of long ago, Judy Jones Hope; good friends from his years at Fryeburg and those with whom we have shared many RV camping trips, leisurely walks, church suppers, holidays, and picnics. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Jay Hardcastle, his mother-in-law Ruth Stearns and his beloved Newfoundland Alice. T om said, "Have a party", and that is what we will do. Friends and family will gather at the Bangor home in early July. A future posting of the specific date will be made.
This information was last updated 03/30/2022
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association